Rob Gronkowski is back on the practice field.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end was spotted Wednesday during the portion open to the media, marking his first action since suffering fractured ribs in Week 3. The team elected not to place Gronk on injured reserve with the hopes of him returning sooner. He might now be ready.
Gronkowski was officially limited, per the team injury report.
The four-time All-Pro was off to a fast start in 2021, catching two scores in each of the first two games. Gronk was a team co-leader in touchdowns until Mike Evans' three-TD outburst this past weekend.
He's not the only prominent Bucs player on the mend. Linebacker Lavonte David, who's missed the past two games with an ankle sprain, and cornerback Richard Sherman, who missed the last one, returned to practice. Wide receiver Scotty Miller, who's on IR with a turf toe injury, ran on the side. Cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Dee Delaney, both of whom exited Week 7 early, were present as well. David, Sherman and tight end O.J. Howard (ankle) were limited, while Dean was a full participant. Delaney was listed as a DNP.
Conversely, wide receiver Antonio Brown was in attendance but using crutches. Brown has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6.
- Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt is out for Thursday night's game with the Green Bay Packers with a shoulder injury, the team announced. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) is questionable to play. Offensive lineman Max Garcia (Achilles), defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence (calf) and tight end Darrell Daniels (hamstring) are also questionable.
- Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (back) is doubtful to play Thursday night versus the Cardinals, while linebacker Preston Smith (oblique) and cornerback Kevin King (shoulder/back) are questionable.
- Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said quarterback Dak Prescott (calf) will participate in individual drills Wednesday as his evaluation progresses. Prescott was officially limited in practice, per the team practice report. Also limited were cornerback Trevon Diggs (ankle) and offensive tackle Tyron Smith (ankle).
- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (knee) was limited in practice.
- New Orleans Saints guard Andrus Peat (pectoral) did not practice Wednesday, nor did quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion). Defensive back Ken Crawley was designated to return from IR but placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, along with wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey.
- Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor was designated to return to practice Wednesday, the team announced. Coach David Culley said his status for Sunday's game against the Rams "is still up in the air." Taylor has been out since Week 2 with a hamstring injury. Culley added that Davis Mills will continue to get the first-team reps in practice Wednesday as Taylor works his way back. Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey (thumb) did not practice Wednesday and receiver Brandin Cooks was listed as limited, but not injury related.
- Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) did not practice Wednesday.
- Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (foot) is not expected to play Sunday versus the 49ers and might end up on IR, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle) were limited in practice. Offensive tackle Larry Borom was designated to return from IR.
- Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule told reporters he is "hopeful" recently acquired cornerback Stephon Gilmore will make his debut this Sunday against the Falcons, per ESPN. Linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot) was a limited participant. Defensive back Juston Burris was designated to return from IR.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers activated running back Anthony McFarland from injured reserve. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/hip), linebacker Melvin Ingram (groin) and wide receiver Chase Claypool (hamstring) were limited in practice. Defensive tackle Carlos Davis was placed on IR.
- New York Jets linebacker Jarrad Davis, punter Braden Mann and defensive end Kyle Phillips were designated to return to practice.
- Tennessee Titans linebacker Jayon Brown, linebacker Derick Roberson and offensive lineman Aaron Brewer were designated to return to practice. Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) and linebacker Bud Dupree (knee) did not practice Wednesday, but offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (concussion) returned as a full participant.
- Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf) did not practice Wednesday, while running backs Jonathan Taylor (ribs) and Nyheim Hines (ribs) were each limited.
- The Cleveland Browns announced defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (ankle, groin, knee), defensive tackle Malik Jackson (ankle), wide receivers Jarvis Landry (knee) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) and cornerback Denzel Ward (hamstring) are not practicing. Quarterback Baker Mayfield said playing Sunday versus the Steelers is a possibility and undergoing shoulder surgery is not a certainty. Mayfield practiced Wednesday in a limited capacity. Also limited at practice were wide receiver Odell Beckham (shoulder), running back Nick Chubb (calf) and offensive linemen Jedrick Wills (ankle), JC Tretter (knee) and Jack Conklin (knee). Safety Richard LeCounte III did not practice practice Wednesday due to disciplinary reasons.
- San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is getting his knee examined and might require season-ending surgery. Quarterback Trey Lance (knee) is returning to practice Wednesday. Shanahan said the team expects tight end George Kittle (calf) to return next week. The Niners designated defensive lineman Kevin Givens to return to practice. Lance was listed as limited in the official injury report, while offensive lineman Trent Williams (ankle/elbow) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (calf) did not practice.
- Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (hand) and offensive lineman Spencer Brown (back) did not practice. Defensive tackle Justin Zimmer (foot) was limited.
- Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (concussion) was limited in practice.
- Cincinnati Bengals running back Chris Evans (hamstring) and center Trey Hopkins (knee) did not practice Wednesday, while defensive end Trey Hendrickson (shoulder) was limited.
- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said defensive back Marquise Blair is having knee surgery this week and his season is done. Offensive lineman Brandon Shell (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, running back Alex Collins (groin) was limited and defensive end Darrell Taylor (neck) was a full participant.
- Miami Dolphins cornerbacks Xavien Howard (shoulder/groin) and Byron Jones (Achilles/groin), wide receiver DeVante Parker (shoulder/hamstring) and linebacker Jaelan Phillips (ankle) were limited in practice.
- Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack was limited in practice due to a back injury.
- Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (groin), tight end T.J. Hockenson (ankle/knee) and linebacker Trey Flowers (knee) were limited in practice.
- New England Patriots center David Andrews (ankle), wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (shoulder), kicker Nick Folk (left knee), linebacker Dont'a Hightower (ankle), tight end Jonnu Smith (shoulder) and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (groin) were limited in practice.
- Washington Football Team wide receivers Terry McLaurin (hamstring), Curtis Samuel (groin) and Dyami Brown (knee) and offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi (ankle) did not practice. Running back Antonio Gibson (shin), cornerback William Jackson (knee), guard Brandon Scherff (knee), tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (quadricep) and wide receiver Cam Sims (hamstring) were limited.
- Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday.
- The Detroit Lions elevated guard Tommy Kraemer from their practice squad to the active roster and re-signed cornerback Daryl Worley to the practice squad.
- The Tennessee Titans signed running back/kick returner Dontrell Hilliard to the practice squad.
- The Baltimore Ravens are signing veteran offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to their practice squad, with the expectation he'll be elevated to the active roster soon, Garafolo reported. The team later announced the signing. Ogbuehi was released by the Seahawks on Monday. Baltimore is short-handed in the wake of Patrick Mekari's ankle injury.
- The Seattle Seahawks signed center Brad Lundblade to the practice squad.
- The New York Giants signed wide receiver David Sills to the practice squad and defensive back J.R. Reed from the Rams' practice squad.
- The New England Patriots signed center James Ferentz from their practice squad and linebacker Calvin Munson from the Dolphins' practice squad. The Pats also signed defensive backs DeVante Bausby and Brian Poole to the practice squad.